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Css & Seo
Posted 01 February 2006 - 01:54 PM
"I have been doing SEO for years and through my own experience with the subject know that if you put the keywords nearer the top of the page where the search engines see then first you WILL get higher rankings.
So having the button bar on the left hand side be seen below the main text by the search engine is a plus. Being able to have layered text is a plus. All the little nuances that many disregard as unimportant make a BIG difference in your placement on the web and how much money you pay for that placement.
I have small businesses and entrepreneurs who do not want to have to pay Google anything to get listed on the front page and we can still do this with compliant coding and good keyword placement on the page.
Although I try very hard to make my websites as pleasing as possible, the bottom line is if they get advertised on the front page of Google. That is the measuring stick to how good your optimizing is. It works better with CSS sites for me. I can't say anything about other sites but my css sites are ranked high and faster than my older table sites.
Basically, when you cut out all the extra table tags and deprectaed code, you end up with pretty close to nothing but content on your page. You also don't have to rely on tables to lay out your page. If the content is way more important to you for rankings than navigation, then by God, you can put the content at the top of you file. but guess what? Using CSS, you can lay out your page so that the naviagtion *appears* at the top to visitors. The engines, however, will see the all-important content at the top. And everyone knows, the important stuff needs to be as close to the top of the file as possible.
CSS make for uber-clean code so the engines don't have to wade through crap all the time. And if you religiously check for validity and accessibility, you're adding more plusses to your site.
In other words, clean CSS and code make for a more search-engine friendly page. As with anything else, *only* having CSS_based sites won't do it on it's won- you have to have good content, good keywords, good titles, all that stuff. But having clean, accessible code certainly helps a great deal.
Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:00 PM
A few good resources to get a more realistic understanding:
Could you point out the source on that? I'd love to see who's writing it...
Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:14 PM
So why not do it?
Posted 01 February 2006 - 02:39 PM
I think that cleaning up a page's code has numerous positive effects, and that usually involves moving from tables to CSS, but sticking keywords or the page's unique content at the top of the code is something I've played with and found that it does nothing.
Posted 01 February 2006 - 03:38 PM
Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:30 PM
Of all the reasons to write clean code, the worst reason is to make it "easy" for spiders!
Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:35 PM
We don't need any more crusades and jihads to prove that people need to be following standards and eschewing the use of tables. There are far more important issues facing the Web community.
The aggregate design of the Web will prove to be a resilient and self-correcting environment. It will go where the money is, where the traffic is, where the fun is.
Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:48 PM
Love it! Want to make that into a whole article I can use for one of my newsletters, Lyn?
Posted 01 February 2006 - 10:50 PM
I happen to agree with your succinct opinion, randfish. I shouldn't mention the other peoples' names since I did not ask permission to quote them. However, this quote is by CSS guru Eric Meyer:
Lots of the designers on this email forum love to espouse the idea that tables should only be used for tabular (is that the right word?) data. But ya' know, if we're gonna rigidly stick to the original purpose of HTML tags, then we really should limit ourselves to publishing scientific papers, since that was Tim Berners-Lees' original purpose for the WWW.
Posted 02 February 2006 - 12:20 AM
Lots of the designers on this email forum love to espouse the idea that tables should only be used for tabular (is that the right word?) data.
You know, I agree that all of those are good practices, just not for those reasons. None of it involves search engines, it's just the right way to code a web document.
Posted 02 February 2006 - 02:19 AM
After some blog entries in early-Fall of 2004, where a few CSS people displayed a lack of understanding about what SEO is all about, Eric was invited by Danny Sullivan to participate on a panel during the SES in Chicago. Indeed, one of our HR moderators, Matt, was a speaker on that same panel and gave a dazzling presentation on the benefits of CSS and accessibility. Eric's talk was equally informative.
At any rate, Eric learned a bit more about search engines and how they work during his Chicago stay. And, as you can see in his own words, he no longer promotes some of the older SEO/CSS myths. Of course, it was only one session, with not a lot of extra time available (every speaker went over), so even a very bright guy like Eric got a pretty abbreviated education and (in my opinion) still misses a few of the finer points. But he *is* a very bright guy and, more importantly, very open minded about differing viewpoints. It was a good start.
Posted 02 February 2006 - 03:57 PM
I'm not quite sure if it can help with your rankings or not, I'm still on the fence with this issue.
I'm a pretty big advocate on using standards compliant code, but it's for reasons other than SEO.
1) As a professional I think it's important to do a job the right way. Writing code that meets standards is the right way. I really can't see hiring anyone that calls themselves a professional that doesn't do things the correct way, this goes for any industry.
It makes yourself and your clients look better when you perform a job correctly.
2) Site maintenance is easier.
3) Cuts down on bandwidth. Believe me, if you have a client that gets enough traffic this can make a huge difference on the amount of bandwidth they use, which results in savings on their end.
Posted 02 February 2006 - 06:05 PM
Search engine spiders don't get "tired" or "upset" with bad code. They have very, very specialized machine systems for getting exactly what's on the page 99.999% of the time and caching it. The reason it doesn't matter to search engines is because it doesn't matter to searchers.
A great page on bottle-nosed dolphins is not made a less worthy resource because it doesnt' validate or because it has 50 nested tables. CODE DOES NOT IMPACT RELEVANCE - if I owned the site, would I want it to be CSS and compliant and accessible and simple to edit and update? Absolutely. But, the search engines couldn't care less and proper use of CSS vs. tables or valid code vs. invalid has literally NO impact on rankings.
However, as you noted, CSS fans don't need search engines as a reason to tout the success of the system - speed, accessibility, maintenance, etc. are all great reasons by themselves.
Posted 02 February 2006 - 09:18 PM
Yea, I agree, for the average SEO those points are pretty much invalid. They were more directed at those that do a combination of SEO & Design, or just design.
I am still on the fence about whether or not it helps with SEO. I know the SE's can rip through bad code like it's nothing, but something keeps telling me clean code and good structure can help, even if it's just a little bit. I have no proof though, so I won't try to argue with you on this. One thing's for sure, it certainly doesn't hurt.
Posted 05 February 2006 - 11:29 AM
Yep. It is all about thinking like a pro. However there actually is an area where CSS is important in SEO: Menus.
When you talk about table-layout vs CSS layout the CSS method can serve content in an order that if better from the view point of voice-readable browsers. The snerp of text that sometimes is shown in the SERP and can be important for your click through rate is taken from the first appearance of the relevant keyword in the HTML code. Often this is the menu in table-designs.
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